"There is a right time and a right way to do everything, but we know so little!"
Ecclesiastes 8:6 Good News Translation

Normally, in July school children would have been looking forward to their summer break from school. But this year many have already been off school since mid- March. In July we look forward to Summer holidays which for many is a trip to the airport and a flight to some holiday resort. But this year many find their chosen holiday cancelled. And, of course in July we look forward to hot summer days. But this year we have had many a hot day in May and June!

We know that in normal times there is a right time for things to happen... but these are not normal times.

However, despite so many changes to what we might expect at this time of the year there are some things that still tell us that there is a right time. My garden is one place that tells me what time of the year it is... well on the whole... the potatoes and other vegetables know that summer into autumn is the time for them. And my first strawberry (Oh what a delight) needed the sun, and plenty of water before it was ready. We can see at their best in July the Delphiniums, Agapanthus, lavender various Clematis, Dahlias and so many more flowers. Even though the time is not right this year for us to open our gardens to share these flowers with others the time will be right to dead head the various flowering plants so that we can continue to enjoy their beauty long into the summer.

There is also the right time to celebrate certain things this month. Believe it or not July 2 is "I Forgot Day"; July 11 is "Cheer Up the Lonely Day"; and one of my favourites is July 28 which is "National Milk Chocolate Day". These days don't change and come about every year at the same time.

We also know that there is a right way of doing things. My finger tells me that hitting it with a hammer is not the right way of getting a nail into a piece of wood. But I'm never too old to learn!

Over the past few months most of the world has learnt the right way of behaving during a pandemic. We have learnt again the art of community. We have learnt to be grateful to the NHS and all who have kept us going. Perhaps one of the most important things is that we have realised that unless we all take responsibility and ownership of our actions, across spheres, we are all at risk.

With God there is so much still to know and we may never, on this earth, get the full picture but God knows the appropriate time for all things and God knows the response he would have us give. So, may we, in times of difficulty, think of those around us and those around the world so that we ensure that we act at the right time and in the right way in every situation.

Anne Scarff

July 2020